March 09, 2007

Detachment from Sin

The great thing about taking classes in Catholicism from a really orthodox priest as part of my confirmation process is that I learn something new every week.

Father talked about Indulgences in our last class. He mentioned that in order to earn a plenary indulgence, you have to be detached from sin-even venial sins. If not, then the plenary indulgence becomes a partial indulgence. You could fill all the other requirements but without that detachment from sin, you have not earned the plenary indulgence.

What is "detachment from sin"?

I look back with laughter and, dare I say, fondness on the time I got completely stupid drunk and jumped into a swimming pool with all my clothes on at Thanksgiving a few years ago. Ha-ha! Wasn't that just wacky and crazy? Maybe so, but that's an example of a lack of detachment from sin. I'm still looking back on that event, which was just rife with sin, as being pretty funny and a fine example of my spontaneous personality.

There is more on indulgences here

"It is this disposition to renounce all attachment to our sins which opens our heart to the receipt of the full remission of the temporal guilt of sin, which God desires to grant us through the Church."


Blogger Entropy said...

This is one of those things that bothers me...why did the Church feel it necessary to even go there? In one way I think it's great that the Church has everything written down to the letter of what she believes but sometimes it feels like she's gone too far. I hope I haven't gone too far with this comment!

March 09, 2007 5:28 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


Do you have film of your detachment, or would that be considered to be a near occasion of sin for viewers?


Cathy can probably answer better, but for starters, indulgences can be thought of as just another example of God's infinite Mercy because of His infinite love for us. But His Mercy does have requirements on our part.

March 09, 2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

entropy: Fair comment. Indulgences were one of the main reasons for the Protestant Revolt. Or, rather, the purchasing of indulgences. The Church no longer assigns days off in Purgatory to the indulgences. There are no guarantees. I like Ray's answer.

Ray: It's a good thing there isn't or my cousin would be blackmailing me with them!

March 09, 2007 8:10 PM  
Blogger Entropy said...

Thanks for help!
Wouldn't it be better to just not put it out there? I guess it's too late for that but it seems to me it would be better to leave those things the Church cannot be certain of unsaid. The Church admits that it's up to God and we don't know how He's going to handle it so the Church could just say she doesn't know. Certainly prayer never hurts but to say that for sure you get partial remission of punishment seems overstepping. There is the: Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven... I don't know. This is a hard one for me.

March 09, 2007 10:59 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

entropy: Indulgences and Purgatory are hard to understand. I agree. But, the Resurrection can be hard to understand too. I don't think that we should avoid mentioning the difficult teachings. By mentioning them, insight can follow.

March 10, 2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger RecoveringCatholic said...

Granted, we live in very individualist, self-indulgent culture where people no longer know how to deny themselves anything. But maybe you're being a bit too hard on yourself. Who hasn't had one whisky Coke too many at some point in their lives?

Still, I like to think that God has a sense of humor and might enjoy our "spontaneity"...from time to time. :)

March 11, 2007 9:30 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

RC: Spontaneity can be fine. However, there was a real danger that I could have done real harm to myself or others in that state.

March 13, 2007 9:28 AM  

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